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How To Watch NBA Games Without Cable?

by farihas@domainmagnate.com
How to Watch NBA Games Without Cable

The NBA is undoubtedly the number one basketball league worldwide. Thousands of die-hard fans fill up the arenas to soak up the atmosphere and cheer their favorite teams during each season. However, if you’re unable to watch NBA games live, you’d be glad to know that there are many other ways you can watch NBA games without cable.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the various methods and also highlight the cheapest method you can try.

How to Watch NBA Games Without Cable

Yes, you can watch NBA games without cable, and really, it isn’t hard! You can still watch your favorite games when you choose to cut the cable, thanks to the live TV streaming services that are available.

Use An Antenna

An antenna is often an overlooked option but you might find that it is good enough for what you’re after. If you just want to catch broadcasts of games on Sundays as well as the NBA Finals, all you have to do is buy an antenna from Amazon. This is a cost-effective option if you’re happy with just catching these games.

Purchase your antenna, then simply connect it to your television. ABC often broadcasts one or two main featured NBA games every weekend, and you can even use a digital video recorder for over-the-air broadcasts to record the games.

However, if you’re an ardent fan, this method won’t be enough for your needs. You will then require a proper service that will allow you to stream all the basketball games.

Channels Needed

Actually, you only need just a few channels to watch your favorite games. If you have a streaming service that has ABC, ESPN, or TNT, you can catch pretty much all of the action. For local games, you’ll want a regional sports network as well. NBA TV might also be an option for you, although this isn’t offered with all streaming services.

Local Channels

You will likely find the games of your favorite team on your local, regional sports network. When it comes to regional sports networks and local channels, you have many options. Some examples include AT&T SportsNet, Yes Network, Altitude Sports, Spectrum Sports and more.

Sling TV

For those of you who are devout NBA fans—you need streaming. This means signing up for something like Sling TV, which is one of the more affordable options if you want to watch all the available games.

Basically, you can purchase either the Orange or Blue plan for $35 a month. That Orange plan will give you ESPN and TNT. To add NBA TV, you can add the Sports Extra add-on for just $11 more per month.

It is much cheaper than cable. You can also watch most of the regular season and the NBA playoffs if you combine this with an antenna. If you’re a new subscriber, you can even get your first month’s service at a discounted price of only $10. So again, if you’re looking for the cheapest method to watch NBA games, Sling TV is your answer.

Sling TV


Hulu Live

You need to get the Hulu Live plan if you want to watch ESPN and TNT, but the great part is that it also includes local networks too. Unfortunately, it’s also more expensive at about $70 per month, and there is no add-on package like Sling.
You can DVR your games on Hulu, though, so if you want to make sure you catch them all, you can always go back and watch them later.

Hulu Streaming Service


YouTube TV

You can use YouTube to watch ABC, ESPN, and TNT, all at $55 a month—but only for the first three months. Then you have to pay $65 a month afterwards. You can get NBA TV without an antenna here, though, if you don’t want to spend the money for the antenna or don’t want to have to worry about setting that up yourself.

You only have one channel package with YouTube, so you can’t customize it much if you want to continue to use your package beyond basketball season. Oh, but you can still DVR shows to watch later.

YouTube TV



You might also choose FuboTV, which will offer ABC and ESPN for $65 a month, but there’s no package that includes TNT. However, you can get some great regional networks, which may be your best bet if you’re a big fan of one of your local teams.

Just add NBA TV by buying the Sports Lite add-on for an additional $10. Depending on what you want to watch, you might find this to be a good option. You’ll get access to NBA TV which features as many as 90 season games, although do take note that blackout rules do apply.

Also, enjoy documentaries and analysis programs and other features like NFL RedZone, MLB Network, and NHL Network. Unfortunately, in comparison to YouTube TV, you can’t subscribe to NBA League Pass through FuboTV.

fuboTV Streaming Service



This is perhaps the best service when you want to stream NBA games. You have ESPN, TNT, and can access all your local networks, which is the ultimate option when you really want to get all the action.

This is also the most expensive plan, which is the Choice plan at $90 a month. But you can even watch NBA TV, so really, if you want to watch everything you could possibly watch, this is where to watch it.

Granted, you only have 90 days to DVR things, so once that’s up, you have to be sure you catch everything live.



NBA League Pass

Basketball Match

You might also invest in the NBA League Pass, which is easily the most expensive as $200 per season is the least expensive price point. If you want to avoid commercials, that plan will be $250, but you can also watch in-area feeds with that.

You might even choose to watch one team for $120 for the NBA Team Pass. With your NBA League Pass subscription, you can watch every single feed, whether it’s home, away, additional languages, mobile view, or camera angles.

Catch every game on your tablets, smartphones, computer, or TV. Any NBA games that were broadcast on TNT, ABC, and ESPN will be available to you for three hours, and you even get access to a special selection of classic games at any time.

NBA Team Pass

If you want something a little more affordable than NBA League Pass, this is your answer. NBA Team Pass will put you only $18 a month or $120 a year out of pocket, compared to the more pricey NBA League Pass. The good news is that you still get access to all your favorite team’s broadcasts for home and away matches.

Of course, there’s a catch. In this case, you’ll be restricted by NBA blackout regulations. For example, if you live in the area of your team’s “home,” you can’t watch their games with your subscription.

NBA explains that they determine blackout zones based on zip codes if you’re watching with a satellite TV provider or a blend of cable system distribution zones and zip codes if you’re watching through a cable TV provider.

To ensure that you don’t get caught out by this rule, check your zip code in Blackout Notices before you take the plunge to sign up for NBA League Pass or Team Pass. In essence, the NBA subscriptions work if you live far away from your favorite team.

If you really want to bypass this Blackout restriction, though, you can use a VPN (a virtual private network) to log on to your NBA League Pass so you can access all the games.

Watching NBA Online Using a VPN

VPNAs mentioned, you can easily use VPNs to bypass geo-restrictions. This way, you’ll be able to follow every game live. Connecting to a VPN server isn’t complicated at all.

Simply choose a reputable VPN service of your choice and connect to a server out of the blackout region. Your IP address will then be masked, allowing you to watch live NBA games that only fans outside of the blackout region can watch.

When it comes to safe and reliable VPNs, we highly recommend ExpressVPN. With its impressive speed and security, you’ll be able to watch your games without interruption or putting your information at risk.

It also boasts over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, and a significant lot is in the USA itself. If you just want to try it out, take advantage of their 30-day money-back trial to see if you like it.

Our second VPN recommendation is NordVPN. Boasting 5200 servers across 59 different countries, you’ll enjoy fast streaming and excellent security. In addition, its split tunneling function is well praised, and its server network has been upgraded, making it a much-improved service.

What Else Do You Need To Know?

Bear in mind that the various streaming platforms feature different streaming resolutions. This can make a significant difference to your enjoyment of the games. After all, the higher the resolution is, the clearer the images will be. Plus, NBA is full of quick, non-stop actions, so quicker refresh rates will allow you to have a seamless experience.

It’s also crucial to take note of the technical specs that these streaming platforms offer before you sign up because they can affect your recordings. If you’re an NBA fan who likes to record the games so you can watch them again, remember to find out what the platform’s DVR storage limit is.

Also, ensure that the service you pick supports the device that you usually watch your games on.

Youtube TV and FuboTV offer 4K resolution for their live streams. However, they don’t broadcast any games in 4K. Meanwhile, Sling TV, DirecTV Stream, and FuboTV’s non-4K streams offer 720p resolution. With Hulu+ and Youtube TV, you’ll get 1080p resolution on specific channels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Really Possible to Watch NBA Without Cable?

Yes, it’s possible to catch NBA basketball games without satellite or a cable subscription. Sling TV, YouTube TV, DirectTV Stream, NBA League Pass, or NBA Team Pass are just some of the effective methods mentioned above.

It’s worth noting that these options are all available without having to commit long-term to a contract. Enjoy the service and cancel it when you don’t need it anymore.

Can I Watch NBA Games Without Paying?

No, you can’t watch free NBA games. If you want the most cost-effective option, it’s to go with an antenna. An affordable antenna from Amazon will let you watch all the nationally broadcast NBA games on ABC. It’s easy to install and set up. Alternatively, you can try a free trial with live streaming platforms. However, that won’t be a long-term option.

What Games Can I Watch On NBA League Pass?

You’ll be able to watch live games as well as highlights and replays from each game. In addition, enjoy exclusive streams of home and away coverage as well as specific classic games.

Why Are Some Games Blackouts on NBA League Pass?

There are blackout restrictions in the USA and Canada when it comes to NBA League Pass. This is due to local and regional content networks holding the exclusive rights to broadcasting these live games. As mentioned above, if you want to bypass these geo-restrictions, you need to use a VPN to do so.

Which Is The Most Affordable Streaming Option To Watch NBA Games?

That will be Sling TV. You even get to enjoy TNT and ESPN if you sign up for their Orange package. At $35 a month, it’s a lot more affordable than cable.


For the ardent NBA fan, missing any NBA game is a pain and disappointment. This is the main reason why many fans have retained their cable subscription, even though it can be an expensive commitment to upkeep. Fortunately, as we’ve shown, there are many more methods to catch NBA games without cable.

Try any of these options we’ve mentioned, and you can successfully save on your cable subscription and not miss out on your favorite NBA games!

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